After an abysmal showing in Costa Rica and a beautiful Dos A Cero reprise in Columbus, the USMNT roster continues to slowly take shape. There has definitely been some movement as players like Eddie Johnson and Michael Parkhurst make their cases for Brazil. Let's take a look at my predicted roster and feel free to make some comments on who you think should be in or out!
I just can't see anyone else working their way into the goalkeeper position. These three guys are all veterans and I would trust any of them between the pipes in Brazil. Brad Guzan is pushing Tim Howard for that starting spot, but we probably won't see Guzan as the undisputed No. 1 until the next World Cup cycle.
Let me state the obvious when I say there are problems all over our backline. However, right back has to be the biggest issue. With Steve Cherundolo looking like he will be forced into retirement, no player particularly stands out as a reliable option. Orozco Fiscal has been a failed project, Brad Evans will get run over by better teams, and Timothy Chandler is still questionable when it comes to commitment. While Evans has his flaws, I think he will be rewarded for his work during qualifying with a ticket to Brazil. Michael Parkhurst had a solid second half against Mexico, but playing time is a huge concern. Parkhurst had a solid Gold Cup but needs a change of scenery this January. If not, Chandler will overtake Parkhurst's spot. Geoff Cameron is my pick to start in Brazil. Cameron is getting consistent playing time at Stoke and since he is such a utility player; his talents will be essential in Brazil.
Now moving to center and left back. Goodson, Besler, and Gonzalez are undoubtedly the three center backs we will be taking to Brazil, but I am not convinced Gonzalez and Besler will start together. Goodson was excellent with Besler in the Gold Cup and just as good with Gonzalez in the Mexico. My preferred starting pair would have to be Goodson and Besler. I realize that is not a very popular opinion, but Goodson's experience will help in Brazil. He is certainly capable of leading the backline. Beasley was exposed against Costa Rica but excellent against Mexico. Castillo also suffers from consistency issues. I think the left back spot is between Beasley and Fabian Johnson depending on what lineup Klinsmann wants to feature.
Sadly, Sacha Kljestan has fallen out of the plane. Being one of two Americans playing in the Champions League, you would think he would be guaranteed a spot. Central midfield is the most congested spot on the US roster. Considering how well Beckerman has played with the USMNT and how little Kljestan has seen the field under Klinsmann, it is just hard to see Kljestan making the trip to Brazil. Mikkel Diskerud and Alejandro Bedoya have solidified their spot on the plane with their showings against Mexico and in this summer's Gold Cup. Bedoya is thriving at Nantes and could play the roll of super sub in Brazil. Diskerud is a more than capable backup in central midfield if any of our main players can't perform.
The front line has finally taken shape. I am about 99% positive that these four players will be the forwards we see playing for the USMNT in Brazil. Eddie Johnson had an excellent game against Mexico replacing Jozy Altidore, Aron Johannsson is running the Dutch Eredivisie right now, and Jozy Altidore and Landon Donovan are undisputed starters. Can't say I have too many complaints about our forwards.
OUTSIDE LOOKING IN
Joe Corona- Corona has not been featuring consistently for Club Tijuana this season. After a solid Gold Cup, Corona has not been able to work his way into the US midfield that features several talented veterans.
Jose Torres- Another Liga MX player, Torres has a left foot that would certainly benefit the US but the midfield is just too congested for him to have a spot.
Eric Lichaj- Lichaj's name has come up frequently over the last month or so after starting the Championship season well with his new club Nottingham Forest. Considering how up in the air the right back position is right now, Lichaj definitely has a chance to work his way onto the roster if he continues to play well for his club and gets some time with the national team in the October qualifiers.
John Anthony Brooks- Despite having an excellent season with Hertha Berlin so far, I still don't see him making the team. Suffering a dislocated elbow earlier today will also hurt his chances.
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